Tag-Team Review: Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me by Anna Martin

and One Time I Kissed Him First

When you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.

As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years.

When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.

Averaged reviews.

Lorix - 4.5 Hearts

Ahhhh...le sigh! This book could have been written for me. My absolute favourite storyline of all time is friends to lovers, especially if it's a best friends for their entire life kind of a deal.
"It wouldn't take long for the gym to smell like sweat and the cafeteria to smell like grease and the art rooms to feel like home."
Evan loves art and he loves his best friend Scott. This story flips back and forth through the years showing us key points of the friendship between Scott and Evan, from when they first met as children to the current day - or actually in the future as the epilogue is set in 2020.

Generally, I really like time jumps in novels (I know a lot of people don't, but it is a format that usually works well for me, I like the slow reveal of information in bits and pieces) yet in this novel I felt as though it would have worked just as well linearly; I didn't feel we gained anything from it being written in this way. That said though, it also didn't bother me too much, it just felt a tad unnecessary to me.

I liked how we learnt about Evan's relationship with, not just Scott, but Scott's family. That warmth and belonging that he'd had since childhood. I also liked how Evan's mom was portrayed and how the families fitted together.

The five times/one time format is a fan fiction trope that I really enjoy, and I loved seeing it in a novel. It fitted this story really well. It felt right. The whole story was like a big hug really, exactly as I hoped it would be when I started reading it.

One niggle - and I may be way off base here - but it felt like the author wasn't American but a Brit. Some things just made me pause; Durex as the condom brand for example (most US novels use Trojan) I could be completely and utterly wrong, and it wasn't a huge dealio, just at times I paused because a phrase felt particularly English to me.

Despite this and the time jumps I still class this as a four and a half heart read, because it was just a warm, happy story - and best friends snogging is always a win in my book!

Kristan - 4 Hearts

Five times Scott kissed Evan + the time Evan kissed Scott first.

It's completely adorable, and sweet and there's no two ways about it, I loved these two men. It had everything I wanted from a best friends to lovers/ reunited/ worked hard for their HEA, story.

But what will hold this story back for many readers, is the non linear telling of it. There's no real reason for it to jump through time the way it did, and it took some of the shine off an otherwise perfect story. The issue with reading a story that's not in chronological order, is that the reader has to wait forever to find out why a character feels or reacts a certain way. Here, it feels like we have to wait forever to find out why these two men were dancing around each other. There's also something that happens between them in college that leads to a falling out, that never really gets addressed. Maybe having Scott's point of view might have helped the story along, but for me, I really wanted the storytelling done in a more cohesive manner.

That aside?

I loved Scott and Evan's journey. Anna Martin's writing is polished and just the right balance of feels and circumstance. The characters are authentic, and the time between Scott and Evan as children to their teenage years, was especially well done. We follow Evan as he forms a deep friendship with Scott at eight, and their innocent first kiss that will leave you smiling. We see him fall in love with Scott at eighteen, and share a beautiful kiss that ends in heartache. We watch the heartbreak of having to distance himself from Scott at twenty, when he's not able to kiss Scott back. And we get the kiss of rediscovery when they eventually reconnect at twenty-eight. Each chapter a kiss from Scott, and the final chapter a kiss from Evan, all leading up to an epilogue filled with a thousand kisses of happily ever after.

Their story was a beautiful roller coaster of genuine emotion and longing.

And that ending? It's sweet, lingering, and absolute perfection. I wish all my books had such warm, gooey endings. (I hugged my Kindle. No lie.)

"Twenty-five years," Evan murmured. "It took us twenty-five years to get here."
"I can barely remember my life without you in it."
"Is this the part in the story where we get sappy?"
"And they all lived happily ever after?"
"Yeah. Forever and ever."

I understand why this won't work for some readers, but I'd recommend to try it all the same. It's an easy, low angst read, with a little something for everyone, and two men who completely captured my heart.

Check out for more info on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

Did you see Anna Martin's visit today? Visit here for an excerpt and giveaway!

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